Latest News Highlights: The active case count stands at 1,64,511. (File)
India registered a single-day spike of over 16,000 COVID-19 cases for the fourth day in a row on Sunday, pushing the infection tally to 1,10,96,731, while the recoveries surged to 1,07,75,169, according to Union Health Ministry data.
A total of 16,752 novel coronavirus cases were reported in a day, while the death count rose to 1,57,051 with 113 new fatalities, showed the data updated at 8 am on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Coronavirus vaccines will be capped at Rs 250 per shot at private hospitals and health centres, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. Vaccines will be free in all government hospitals and centres.
The government on Friday had said it will let people choose their coronavirus vaccination centres when the campaign expands Monday to cover those over 60 and those over 45 with illnesses.
They can register through the government's CoWIN 2.0 portal, the Aarogya Setu app, or walk into vaccination centres; states will also actively mobilise people.
There are more than 10,000 private hospitals in the country that are cleared to give out vaccines apart from all government hospitals and health centres.
Meanwhile, in a boost for the Congress-led coalition before next month's elections in Assam, the Bodoland Peoples' Front or BPF on Saturday announced that it was quitting the alliance headed by the ruling BJP and joining the opposition front.
"To work for Peace, Unity, and Development and to bring a stable government, free from corruption in Assam, the Bodoland Peoples' Front (BPF) has decided to join hands with MAHAJATH. BPF shall no longer maintain friendship or alliance with BJP. In the forthcoming Assam Assembly Election BPF shall work hand to hand with Mahajath," BPF leader Hagrama Mohilary said in a statement on Facebook.
Here are the Latest News Highlights:
6 Cases Of Brazil Coronavirus Strain Detected In UK: Health Officials
Up to six cases of the variant of coronavirus first identified in the Brazilian city of Manaus have been detected in Britain, English health officials said on Sunday.
Two of three cases found in England were from a household in the South Gloucestershire area which had a history of travel to Brazil and there was a third, currently unlinked case, Public Health England said.
Don't Want It But "Majboori": Maharashtra Chief Minister On Lockdown
Expressing his disinterest in imposing the lockdown in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said, "I do not want to impose it but 'majboori' (helplessness) is also something."
"I do not want to impose lockdown in the state but 'majboori' is also something," the Chief Minister said during a press conference in Mumbai.
Mr Thackeray also urged people of the state to wear masks to avoid lockdown.
However, the Chief Minister assured that he is continuously monitoring the situation.
Maharashtra had been witnessing an upsurge in COVID-19 cases for the last few days.
CoWIN Registration For Vaccine Opens 9 AM Today, What You Need To Know
A user manual for registration and appointment for COVID-19 vaccination has been shared by the government. The second phase of the vaccination campaign will start today. "The exemplary groundwork and precaution advisory by the government has helped in containing the spread of the virus in our country," the centre said in the introduction to the user manual.
The registration on the CoWIN 2.0 portal will open at 9 am today, the government said. See cowin.gov.in for details. More than 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, more than 600 hospitals under the CGHS and other private hospitals empanelled under state schemes can function as vaccination centres.
The latest announcement was on private hospitals - they can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Chandigarh Gears Up For Second Phase Of Covid Vaccination Drive
The Chandigarh Health Department will conduct the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive starting from tomorrow at government health care facilities and five private hospitals on day one.
The health department of the Union Territory has inspected the private hospital sites and interacted with their nodal officers. The number of private hospitals for the drive will be scaled up in the next few days, informed the Chandigarh Health Department
Maharashtra Reports 8,293 Covid Cases, 62 Deaths In The Last 24 Hours
Maharashtra reported 8,293 new COVID-19 cases, 3,753 recoveries, and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours, the State Health Department informed on Sunday.
"The state has so far reported total of 21,55,070 COVID-19 cases, out of which, 77,008 are the active cases," the Maharashtra Health Department said.
A total of 52,154 people have died due to COVID-19 in the state so far. As many as 20,24,704 people have recovered from the disease.
According to the state health department, the recovery rate in Maharashtra is 93.95 per cent and the fatality rate is 2.42 per cent.
Notice Issued To 3 Nashik Labs Over High Positivity Rate Of Covid Tests
The district administration in Nashik has issued notices to three private labs in view of the high positivity rate of the COVID-19 tests carried out there, officials said on Sunday.
As per the notices issued on Saturday, one lab has been asked to stop conducting tests, another has been asked to get swab samples re-checked, while officials in Thane district have been intimated as the third lab is headquartered there, they added.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Nashik is on the rise over the past few days and a study carried out by local health officials found tests conducted in private labs were returning positive in far larger numbers than the ones carried out in government facilities, they informed.
States Required To Pre-Register Covid Vaccination Centres On Co-WIN: Health Ministry
States and districts will be required to pre-register COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) on the Co-WIN2.0 portal before the registration is opened for people above 60 years and those aged 45 and above with co-morbidities so that the list of CVCs is available to the citizens, the Union Health Ministry said.
The registration begins from March 1 at 9 am. The eligible beneficiaries can choose the centre of their choice and book an appointment based on the slots available.
According to a guidance note on Co-WIN2.0 issued by the Health Ministry, states and Union Territories will decide the target number of doses to be administered in a vaccination cycle, based on already available vaccine doses and additional doses likely to be available in a vaccination cycle.
Delhi Records Second Highest Mean Maximum Temperature For February Since 1901
Delhi has recorded mean maximum temperature of 27.9 degrees Celsius in February, the second highest recorded for the month in the last 120 years, the Indian Meteorological Department said on Sunday.
The highest mean maximum temperature recorded for February in Delhi was 29.7 degrees Celsius in 2006, the IMD officials said.
On Sunday, a minimum temperature of 15.6 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season's average, was recorded, while the maximum temperature was 32.3 degrees Celsius, the Met Department said.
The weather department has predicted clear sky for Monday with mist in the morning.
The maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be around 31 and 13 degrees Celsius respectively.
Kerala Records 3,254 New Covid Cases, 15 Deaths In The Last 24 Hours
Kerala recorded 3,254 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative count of cases in the state to 10,59,403, informed the health department on Sunday.
With 15 deaths registered on Saturday, the death count in the state reached 4,197.
At present, the state has a total of 49,420 active cases.
As many as 4,333 recoveries were recorded, taking the total count of recoveries in the state to 10,05,497.
No New Deaths In Andhra Pradesh In The Last 24 Hours
Andhra Pradesh reported 117 fresh COVID-19 cases, and 66 recoveries in the last 24 hours, according to the state health department.
The state has not reported any death due to coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The death count stands at 7,169. At present, a total of 718 cases are active in the state.
Andhra Pradesh has a cumulative count of 8,89,916 positive cases, including 8,82,029 recoveries and 7,169 deaths.
ISRO Launches Defence Research and Development Organisation's Satellite "Sindhu Netra"
The Indian Space Research Organisation on Sunday launched 'Sindhu Netra', a satellite developed by the DRDO to monitor the activities of military and merchant navy ships in the Indian Ocean Region.
ISRO chief K Sivan told news agency Press Trust of India the satellite was part of the PSLV-51 launch on Sunday.
In the first dedicated mission of its commercial arm NSIL (NewSpace India Limited), the ISRO successfully launched Brazil's earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 co-passengers, including five built by students, on board a Polar rocket from the spaceport at Sriharikota.
Mr Sivan said ''Sindhu Netra'' was part of the satellites launched.
Phase-II Of COVID-19 Vaccination In Telangana From Tomorrow
The second phase of the vaccination drive against COVID-19 for priority age groups in Telangana will start from Monday, health officials said.
The vaccination rollout programme for people aged above 60 and those between 45 and 59 years old with specified comorbidities would be launched in 102 centres across the state initially, they said.
The drive would be subsequently undertaken in 1,200 centres.
2 Avalanches Hit Jammu And Kashmir, No Loss Of Life Reported
Two avalanches hit Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara and Ganderbal districts on Sunday but there was no loss of life, officials said.
An avalanche occurred on Chowkibal-Tangdhar Road in north Kashmir's Kupwara district around 11:45 am, they said.
The officials said another avalanche occurred near Army Convoy Ground in Sonamarg in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district in the afternoon.
However, there was no loss of life in both the incidents, they said.
Goa Sees 54 COVID-19 Cases, 45 Recoveries And 1 Death
Goa's coronavirus caseload went up by 54 and reached 54,986 on Sunday, while the death count increased by one to touch 795, an official said.
The recovery count in the state stood at 53,585 after 45 people were discharged during the day, leaving it with 606 active cases, he added.
With 1,224 samples being examined on Sunday, the overall number of tests in Goa went up to 4,93,367, he said.
Delhi Records 197 New Covid Cases, 1 Death
Delhi records 197 new COVID-19 cases, while one more fatality pushes death count to 10,910, news agency PTI reported quoting authorities.
Farmers Not Anti-National, Red Fort Violence Orchestrated By BJP: Arvind Kejriwal
Extending his support to the farmers agitating in the national capital against the three farm laws, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday accused the BJP workers of perpetrating the violence that took place on Republic Day at Red Fort during farmers' tractor rally.
He alleged that the Red Fort violence was planned by the BJP and those who hoisted a flag on the monument on the Republic Day were their party workers.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod tenders his resignation as Maharashtra Minister.
Rahul Gandhi Calls PM Modi A ''Formidable Enemy,'' Vows To Defeat Him In Tamil Nadu
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "formidable enemy" who ''crushed'' his opponents and vowed to send him to political oblivion by following the path of love and non-violence.
During an interaction at the St Xavier College at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, Mr Gandhi, said he counted on the people's support to defeat the BJP in the upcoming assembly polls.
Maharashtra COVID-19 surge: Curfew in Hingoli from March 1 to 7
In the wake of a rise in daily COVID-19 cases in Hingoli, the local administration has decide to impose curfew in the district from March 1 to 7.
A total of 46 new COVID-19 cases were found on Saturday in Hingoli, located in the state's Marathwada region, raising its tally to 4,083, as per official figures.
Hingoli Collector Ruchesh Jayvanshi in an order issued on Saturday evening said the curfew will come into force from 7 am on Monday and continue till March 7 midnight.
Schools, colleges, religious places and function halls shall remain closed during the period, while banks will operate only for administrative work, said the order.
Vice President M Naidu congratulates ISRO for successful launch of satellites
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for successful launch of various satellites and wished them many successful launches in the future.
India's Polar rocket on Sunday successfully launched Amazonia-1 of Brazil and 18 other satellites from the spaceport in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota, in the first mission of the year for space agency ISRO.
"My heartiest congratulations to team @isro for successful launch of Amazonia-1 and 18 co-passenger satellites onboard #PSLVC51 today," the Vice President Secretariat tweeted quoting Mr Naidu.
"Wishing you many more successes in the year ahead," the vice president said.
Mr Naidu also greeted the scientific community and science enthusiasts on the occasion of National Science Day.
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During Mann Ki Baat, PM Modi speaks about Sant Ravidas
- Sant Ravidas Ji did not want people dependant on others. He wanted everyone to be independent and innovative.
- On the day of Magha Purnima it is the birth anniversary of Saint Ravidas ji. Even today, Sant Ravidas ji's words, his wisdom, guide us.
- They said- All the devotees of Ekai Mati, the only Creator of all. Ravidas vyapai ek ghat within, all kau ek ghade potters. We are all the same earthen pots, we have all coined each one.
- Sant Ravidas ji always spoke openly about the distortions prevailing in the society. He put these distortions in front of the society, showed the way to improve it and then Meera Ji had said - 'Guru Milia Raidas, the same faction of knowledge'.
During Mann Ki Baat, PM Modi conveys greetings on National Science Day and recalls the works of Dr. CV Raman.
Today is National Science Day. It is dedicated to the discovery of the 'Raman Effect' by scientist Dr CV Raman. Our youth should read a lot about Indian scientists and understand the history of Indian science
PM Modi Addresses Nation On Mann Ki Baat
Here are the highlights of his address:
- My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Yesterday was the festival of Magha Purnima. The month of Magha is particularly associated with rivers, ponds and water bodies.
- It is said in our scriptures :- "Maghe nimagna: salile sushite, vikumatapapa: tridivam prayanti." That is, bathing in any holy reservoir during the month of Magha is considered holy.
- In every society of the world, there is a tradition associated with the river. Many civilizations have also developed on the river banks. Because our culture is thousands of years old, therefore, it gets more expanded here.
- There will be no day in India when there is no water festival in some corner of the country.
- During the Magh days, people leave their homes and families and go to Kalpavas on the banks of rivers for the whole month.
- This time Kumbh is also happening in Haridwar. Water is life for us, it is also faith and it is also a stream of development.
- Water is, in a way, more important than Paras. It is said that by the touch of Paras, iron is converted into gold. Similarly, touch of water is necessary for life, it is necessary for development.
- Water has been crucial for the development of humankind for centuries
- A few days later, on March 22, 'World Water Day' is also in the month of March!
- Aradhya ji writes to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji ..
- Sujit ji has written that nature has given us a collective gift in the form of water, so the responsibility to save it is also collective.
- To solve the water crisis, a very good message has been sent by Sujit ji from 'Uttar Dinajpur' in West Bengal to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- This is true that just as there is a collective gift, so is collective responsibility. Sujit ji is absolutely right. River, pond, lake, rain or ground water, these are for everyone.
- Local people have campaigned to preserve their wells here. They are reviving public wells that have been closed in their area for years.
- Friends, there was a time when the village used to take care of wells, pudders, all of them together; now one such effort is taking place in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu.
- The rain water from this canal started going straight into the lake. Now this lake is filled with water.
- Babita ji's village is in Bundelkhand. There was once a very large lake near his village which had dried up. They took other women from the village along and built a canal to carry water to the lake.
- What Babita Rajput ji of Agrotha village in Madhya Pradesh is doing will also inspire all of you.
- Jagdish ji decided to solve this crisis by planting trees. He along with the people of the village planted thousands of trees all over the area and today the dried up water reservoir of his area has been replenished.
- Jagdish ji's village and surrounding area depended on a natural source for water requirements. But many years ago this source dried up. This led to a deepening of the water crisis in the entire area.
- Friends, Jagdish Kuniyal Ji living in Bageshwar, Uttarakhand also teaches a lot.
- Friends, we have to understand our collective responsibilities in this way with respect to water. In most parts of India, it starts raining in May-June.
- With this thinking, a few days from now, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan - 'Catch the Rain' is also being started by the Ministry of Water Power. The basic mantra of this campaign is - 'Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls.'
- We will gather from now on, we will get the rain water harvesting system already in place, get it cleaned in the villages, in the ponds, in the ponds, going to the water bodies, the way of water, removing, then more Will be able to store more rainwater than that.
- My dear countrymen, whenever there is a discussion about the month of Magha and its spiritual social importance, this discussion is not complete without a name. This is the name of Sant Ravidas ji.
One new COVID-19 case in Andamans
One more person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, pushing the coronavirus tally in the union territory to 5,018, a health department official said on Sunday.
The new case was detected during contact tracing, he said.
The union territory now has four active COVID-19 cases.
The overall COVID situation is under control in the archipelago as the local administration has been strict to ensure that health safety protocols are followed to contain the spread of the disease, he said.
The administration has made it mandatory for passengers arriving by flight to produce a negative RT-PCR test report before they are allowed entry into the islands.
The COVID-19 death toll remained at 62 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported in the last 24 hours.
Voting underway for local bodies polls in Gujarat
Elections to Gujarat's 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats are being held on Sunday across 36,000 polling
booths in the state.
Voters, including leaders from various political parties, arrived at the booths to cast their vote after polling began at 7 am.
The voting will continue till 6 pm.
A couple, scheduled to get married later in the day, arrived at a booth in Gondal taluka of Rajkot to exercise their franchise in the initial hours of voting, and said they did not want to miss out on their democratic duty.
Besides, a newly-wed couple was also seen in a queue at a polling booth in Dehgam taluka of Gandhinagar.
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Polling underway for civic polls for 88 seats in Vadodara along with 34 Zila panchayat seats and 168 taluka panchayat seats.
Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar today took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command at Headquarter's Command Post in Mumbai. He has succeeded Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar, who retires after a career spanning 40 years in the Indian Navy
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Voting begins for bypolls to 5 municipal wards in Delhi
Voting began on Sunday morning for the bypolls to five municipal wards in Delhi, results of which are likely to have an impact on the 2022 civic elections.
Polling began at 7:30 am amid tight security arrangements.
The main contenders are the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, the BJP and the Congress. All of them have expressed confidence that they will emerge victorious in the bypolls, which are being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the State Election Commission of Delhi, around 2.42 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes in two wards under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and three wards under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC).
These municipal wards are Rohini-C, Shalimar Bagh (North), Trilokpuri, Kalyanpuri and Chauan Banger.
While Shalimar Bagh (North) is reserved for women, Trilokpuri and Kalyanpuri are reserved for the SC category, according to the poll body.
The bypolls are being seen as the semifinal before the elections to all 272 MCD wards in early 2022.
"Deal Firmly With Violations": Centre To States Amid Surge In Covid Cases
The Centre on Saturday advised states and UTs reporting an increase in coronavirus cases to enforce COVID-appropriate behaviour by dealing firmly with violations and ensure effective surveillance in case of potential super spreading events so as not to squander last year's gains.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a high-level review meeting with chief secretaries of states and UTs of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir.
These states and UTs have been reporting a high COVID-19 active caseload or an increasing trend in new cases in the last week.
People With These Comorbidities To Be Prioritised For Covid Vaccination
People who have one of the 20 comorbidities, including diabetes and heart failure with hospital admission in the past one year, will be prioritised in the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, the government said on Saturday.
The simplified system of certifying people with these comorbidities within the 45-59 years age group was explained to the States Health Departments.
This comes as India is going to start the vaccination of people above 60 years and individuals above 45 years of age having comorbidities against coronavirus, from March 1.
New Zealand's Auckland Starts Second Lockdown In Month
Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city, woke up on Sunday morning to a second lockdown in a month as health authorities try to rein in a coronavirus cluster of the more contagious UK variant.
The seven-day lockdown, announced late Saturday by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, follows a three-day stay-at-home order in mid-February after a local emergence of the UK variant of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Genomic sequencing of a new case recorded on Saturday, which prompted the lockdown, was linked to the existing cluster, health authorities said on Sunday, bringing it to 13 cases.
"It's unlikely we wouldn't see more cases," COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told the state-owned television network TVNZ on Sunday. "How many cases at this point we simply don't know."
The new case has been considered infectious for a week. The person, a 21-year-old student, visited a number of public spaces during that time.
US Authorises Johnson & Johnson Covid Vaccine For Emergency Use
The United States on Saturday authorized Johnson & Johnson's Covid vaccine for emergency use, giving the nation a third shot to battle the outbreak that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.
"The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for Covid-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States," said acting Food and Drug Administration director Janet Woodcock.